So its been a while since my last post but I really haven’t traveled too far over the past 5 days. Sri Lanka is one of those places where each town has a completely different feel about it and each beach is completely different. I ended up staying in the South West town of Galle for two nights which gave me plenty of time to explore the Galle Fort which was built by the Dutch in the 16th century. It was by far the most touristy place i’d come across but still had a very friendly feel. As I walked along the street I was called over to a decrepit building by an old Sinhalese man. His english was poor but he insisted on taking me inside this ruin of a building and with not too much planned for the day I followed him in. As we walked through the 3 story crumbling concrete building I was completely aware that I could easily fall through the floor and the walls looked like they weren’t far off falling themselves. I couldn’t understand a lot of what he was telling me but I got the sense that I was walking through an old school and it had been destroyed in the 2004 Tsunami.

Tour

After enjoying an array of good food and surviving my school tour, I was back on the bike. I learned about a hidden beach on the other side of the bay. So with the 30 degree heat and 83% humidity I felt like a swim was definitely on the cards. As I dragged my bike down the 300 meter rocky path I questioned weather this had been a good idea but upon seeing the clean cool ocean on this tiny private bay, I knew I had made the right decision. After a dip and some fresh Tuna I scrambled back up the path and found a narrow local road which wound through the bushland alongside local houses until I eventually met the coastal road.

Jungle Beach

I again closely followed the coast stopping frequently for photos and even seeing local stilt fisherman set up along the ocean gutters doing their thing. I ended up at a small town called Marissa.

Stilt Fisherman

The accommodation I had booked apparently had no WiFi or water so I set off again and found an amazing little guest house which backed onto the beach. I met up with an Aussie bloke, Grant who I met earlier in Galle and we found an awesome spot on the beach where we chose an array of fresh fish, prawns, calamari, crab and king prawn! I some how found my way back to my hotel at around 2am after plenty of Lion beers.

Mirissa

I woke up to find out that one of my panniers was broken but was able to fix it by about 11am so I set off into the sweltering heat. 

I rolled through a few towns before having to slam on my brakes, questioning, had I just seen what i thought I saw? I turned around and stopped at a fence. Peering over the fence I got my first look at Elephants! I excitedly went to through the gate and made my way into this park like area. There didn’t seem to be anything stopping me from making my way to the elephants. As I cautiously walked over I heard a voice yell out at me. Here we go I thought. This will be the ‘you’re not allowed to be here’ person. I young bloke with elephant tattoos on his chest offered to show me his elephants. I was stoked!

Elephants!!

I had a short rest in the shady park before deciding to put my head down and get to my destination. Again I prolonged my ride by continually stopping to look at everything along the way but it really didn’t matter. I was only doing relatively short distances in the saddle anyway.

Fish courier

When I initially arrived at my destination of Tangalle, I was a little disappointed. It was away from the beach and it appeared to be a noisy, busy, average looking town. I unexcitedly rolled all the way through before seeing a sign on the road advertising a hotel. I turned off and made my way along a quiet road with kids playing cricket in the street. This was a bit nicer. The road then descended onto this quiet little road on the beach edge with fishing boats and restaurants. This was more like it. I found a cool little beachie guest house and It was done! I woke up early the next morning to catch the sunrise and met a local fisherman setting up his nets for the day. He asked me If I’d be interested in going out in the boat with him. After some serious thought about how cool this would be and how this opportunity would probably never come up again I agreed. I set off with him an his brothers on this narrow fibreglass canoe with an old cracked wooden outrigger attached. we charged out through the dumping waves into the clear blue water. There wasn’t much room and I found myself sitting on fishing nets. We did a 600 meter loop of the beach letting the net out as we went before returning to shore were were met by all the local people who helped pull in the nets. 

Fishing

After this I was invited back to the skippers house where his family cooked up the most amazing array of fish, calamari, crab, rice, dahl, and of course papadums. Im now resting up as I plan to make my way to the famous town of Ella which is a little higher in the hills and should hopefully be a little cooler.

The Skipper and I

Stats:

Day 6 Galle

Day 7 Galle to Mirissa 41.1km

Day 8 Mirissa to Tangalle 49.3km

Day 9 The waters of Medaketiya